What being adventurous teaches us
I spent the weekend of 19th – 21st October at the wonderful Yestival, the festival of the Yes Tribe, a community for positive change, inspiration and adventure. The programme was packed with fun activities and great talks from people who’d completed incredible trips and feats of endurance. There were also open mic sessions where members of the audience came on stage, related experiences, or announced adventures they planned to undertake. Here’s what I took away from it and ten lessons I think adventure offers personal development and life in general:
There is a great deal of kindness and generosity in the world, not least from strangers, and it will often reveal itself many times over if you’re prepared to put yourself out a bit. This was no better demonstrated than by Stefan from Germany who spent three years walking from Munich to Tibet with little money yet only pitched his tent a dozen times because of strangers’ generosity in offering him food and a place to sleep. Incredibly he walked to Yestival from Munich and again hardly used his tent thanks again to the kindness of strangers he met on route.
Always be grateful for what you have and recognise that travelling to other countries is a privilege our wealth and status affords us. Mohammad, a teenage refugee from Syria humbled us all by highlighting the arduous journeys many people in the world have little choice but to make in search for the freedoms most of us take for granted.
You don’t need to be super-fit or wealthy to have a great adventure. You just need to have a dream and be prepared to ask for help to achieve it. And when on your adventure never be afraid of asking people for help.
When it’s tough keep going, and remain optimistic. Things usually get better.
Adventure is relative. Just camping for the first time is adventure for some. (Having taken people wild camping for the first time I can attest to this)
If you want more adventure ask yourself three questions (says Alastair Humphreys):
1. How could you live more adventurously?
2. What’s stopping you?
3. What is your doorstep mile – the small thing that would get you started?
Saying yes to things you might otherwise have said no to can lead to you to having enriching experiences – so live by the Yes Tribe’s motto and “Say yes more!”
Ten lessons these principles can teach us from a coaching/life perspective:
Have a dream, a vision, a goal, which stretches.
Commit to the dream, give it a date and make it public. This reinforces accountability to it.
Challenge yourself over what is stopping you. Usually, the biggest barriers we face are the ones in our head.
Don’t get over-awed by the scale of the challenge. Break it down, identify your doorstep mile and just do it, don’t over-think it. We can never ever be one hundred per cent prepared.
Be prepared to step outside your comfort zone –that’s ‘where the magic happens’. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Persevere. The odds are any challenging phases you go through will yield to something better, especially from the experience and knowledge you build up as you make progress.
Always remain grateful for what you have and the privileges this affords.
It’s edifying to expose your vulnerability and to ask for help. Chances are people will respect you and be glad to help you.
It’s not the end of the world if you don’t achieve your goal or don’t achieve it in time, especially if you’ve been true to yourself and tried your best. Reflect and learn. You may have far surpassed the expectations you originally set for yourself and had richer experiences as a result.
Remember that saying yes more is not so much saying yes to others but saying yes to you. Ultimately you can’t fully control what happens to you, but you can usually control what’s going on inside. Making that conversation an affirmative one - of acceptance - where you say yes to you, as will put you in a more empowering position whatever you try to do in life.